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Restaurant Brands takeover to be scaled

Restaurant Brands takeover to be scaled after Finaccess crosses 75% cap


By Paul McBeth

March 14 (BusinessDesk) - Finaccess Capital will scale its $9.45 a share offer for Restaurant Brands New Zealand after acceptances exceeded its 75 percent upper limit.

The Mexican investor declared the partial takeover bid unconditional earlier this week after getting the regulatory and franchisor approvals it needed and securing more than 50 percent of the fast-food operator's shares.

Under the Takeovers Code, that let Finaccess keep the offer open for another 10 working days and it has now attracted almost 86 percent support, up from 73 percent on March 13.

Restaurant Brands shareholders didn't take up the offer until late in the piece, with 41 percent formally behind it at the end of last week and only 28 percent the week before that.

The shares closed at a record $9 yesterday and last traded at that price today.

The Finaccess offer values Restaurant Brands at $1.18 billion and was a 24 percent premium to the $7.60 share price the company was trading at before the bid emerged. Director Stephen Copulos agreed to sell his 8.6 percent stake at the get-go and the independent directors threw their backing behind it after the independent adviser valued Restaurant Brands at $1.02-1.11 billion.

Chief executive Russell Creedy and chief financial officer Grant Ellis also elected to sell into the offer.

The Mexican firm has said it will keep Restaurant Brands' dividend policy unchanged in the near term and promised not to de-list the company in the following 12 months unless it mounted a full takeover. If it does seek to mop-up the remaining shares, it has promised not to offer a lower price, subject to wider movements on the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index.

(BusinessDesk)

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